If the Indian Premier League is a cauldron in which cricket talent from across the world will melt and fuse, then nothing exemplifies that better than watching Parthiv Patel keep wickets to Muttiah Muralitharan.
The two Chennai team players had a long net session on the eve of their first IPL match against Punjab and the Gujarat wicketkeeper was seen getting used to the wily turn that the Sri Lankan off-spinner dished out.
“This is the first time I have kept wickets to Murali and it is a dream come true,” said Parthiv after the session on Friday.
“He is a legendary bowler and someone I have always admired,” he said adding, “I had never imagined we would be in the same team one day.”
A spin bowler relies a lot on the skills of the wicketkeeper and both enjoy an understanding and have their communication codes while plotting a batsman’s downfall. “But there is no understanding here yet. It is too early for that,” said Parthiv.
“Moreover, things will only become clear in a match situation.”
The diminutive player said he was happy the way he performed in the nets. “Ever since the team was announced, I was looking forward to this opportunity. I am quite satisfied with the way I kept wickets to Murali.
“One thing that struck me was the amount of bounce and turn that he produced.”
The 23-year-old former India player, however, said he had no difficulty picking up Murali’s line. “It is not difficult, quite like keeping wickets to any Indian spinner,” he added.